Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Intensive Interaction

Intensive Interaction

Some types of autistic children will respond to what’s
known as “intensive interaction”.

This is a type of therapy designed for children who are
in the earliest stages of communication or who can’t
communicate at all.

It is a method developed in the 1980s along the works
of Geraint Ephraim PhD, who was a psychologist working
at the long-stay hospitals affiliated with the
Harperbury Hospital School in Herefordshire, England.

The basics of intensive interaction is that the
therapist works with the child undergoing progressively
developing enjoyable and relaxed interactive sequences
between the autistic child and the interaction partner.

Gradually, the interactions are increased in complexity
and sophistication until the child slowly learns
and mimics the behavior and the communication style
of the partner.

In intensive interaction, the activity is directed
by the child and the teacher joins in and communicates
simply with the child.

The goals are to learn to give brief attention to
another person, to develop shared attention into
“activities”, to take turns exchanging behavior, to
have fun and play, to understand eye contact and
understand facial expressions.

Autistic children can learn non-verbal communication
such as gestures and body language.

Eventually, the child learns vocalizations that become
increasingly meaningful.

Researchers have looked into intensive interaction
in severely autistic children and have found that
this naturalistic approach appears to be effective
in enhancing sociability and communication in these

While it doesn’t seem to work for everyone, many
children gain in communication from completely
non-verbal and not associated with the world to
being able to communicate through gestures, eye
contact or even verbal communication.

The Parenting Autism Resource Guide: A Complete Resource Guide For Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed With Autism.

1 comment:

Abigail Tee said...

I was wondering whether you would be able to help me at all (or pass this on to others who may be able to)?
My name is Abigail and I am an MSc Research Methods in Psychology Student from Swansea University.

I am currently running a study and I am recruiting parents who use INTENSIVE INTERACTION with children with ASD (diagnosed or undiagnosed and for any length of time/any age). This study has full ethical approval from the Swansea University Psychology Department Committee. An information sheet is attached above.

I am in need of parents who carry out II with their children two fill out two very brief questionnaires online. One as soon as possible and the other in about 3 months. I was wondering of you knew of anyone suitable or could forward this on to anyone for me?
The first questionnaire can be found here:

If you are able to help at all, please can participants use their email address as their ID and ensure it is exactly the same both times they fill in their questionnaires, so I know when to send you their next questionnaire (This will not be stored with responses so answers will remain COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL AND ANONYMOUS).

Many best wishes and thanks,
please do not hesitate to contact me for anymore information,

Your help would be greatly appreciated,

Abigail Tee.

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